The U.S.-ROK Alliance—Implications of an "Alternative Future"
Building on NBR's previous successes in Korean peninsula scenario planning, notably the 2006 "North Korean Bold Switchover" conference, NBR in partnership with the Korea Institute for Future Strategies (KiFS) gathered leading figures from across the political spectrum in academia, business, and civil society to engage in a rigorous "alternative futures" exercise. At a conference convened on September 10-11, 2007, in Seoul, South Korea, American and Korean participants were asked to think through the many potential implications of a world in which the U.S.-ROK alliance no longer existed. This exercise illuminated the potential costs and benefits for both parties of such a dramatic shift and provided a view on the range of U.S. and South Korean thinking on a critically important issue.
NBR published a final conference report summarizing the results of the conference, and articles about the conference appeared in JoongAng Ilbo and the Wall Street Journal. The January 2008 issue of Asia Policy, NBR’s peer-reviewed journal, also features select papers from the conference in the roundtable "What if? A World without the U.S.-ROK Alliance."
Following the conference, from September 12-13, 2007, a U.S. business delegation led by NBR Chairman and Chairman Emeritus of Russell Investment Group, Mr. George Russell and CBOL Corporation Chairman, Mr. Spencer Kim, engaged in discussions on the future of the alliance and U.S.-ROK economic relations with both "established" and "up-and-coming" political and business leaders in Korea. The meetings provided participants with opportunities to interact and build relations with South Korea’s rising cohort of influential leaders.